THE last day of term before recess saw MSPs attempt more jokes than usual at FMQs, some of them even bordering on approaching the mildly funny. Heady days.

Nicola Sturgeon had a nice line when Richard Leonard asked how many government debates on education there were this year, a number every MSP knows is less than one.

“I do not have the number of government debates,” she said, showing her genius for the disingenuous. “But John Swinney made a statement on education reform this week.”

As the opposition scoffed, the Scottish Labour leader came back with his own gag. “Not one since November 2017. We’ve had ministerial statements, such as this week’s mercy killing of the Education Bill, but no debates.”

Labour’s James Kelly also greatly amused by venturing unwisely into his finance brief.

Mr Kelly, let us say, is not one of nature’s abacuses. With his slow nasal drone, he also sounds like a public address system that can’t remember its address. It was not his day.

“I actually feel quite embarrassed for James Kelly right now,” said the FM, after he claimed she had a £500m slush fund.

“After so many years in the Parliament, that he does not have even a basic grasp of government and budgeting, is really quite staggering.”

Well only if you don’t know Mr Kelly. Then Tory Murdo Fraser stepped into the crosshairs by asking about a £1bn black hole in the budget.

“I know we’re about to break for the summer recess, but when I get James Kelly followed by Murdo Fraser, it feels more like Christmas than summer,” said Ms Sturgeon.

“What a tremendous way to end the year.”

But the biggest hoot came when deputy SNP leader Keith Brown debased himself in the toady-of-the-week slot, bowling Ms Sturgeon a simpering underarm question gloriously unrelated to do her remit.

“In light of the reports today that the couple who did their civic duty and reported the domestic disturbance in the Boris Johnson flat have now had to move out and require security assistance, and in light of the fact that the latest victim of Ruth Davidson’s endorsement, Jeremy Hunt, has admitted...”

You get the drift. “What was that about?!” came a baffled cry from across the aisle.

“I don’t think that any of it relates to the First Minister’s responsibilities,” said Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh. “We can tell that it’s the last day of term. We will move on to a real question from Stuart McMillan.”

The aggrieved consternation on Ms Sturgeon’s face looked like it might last all summer.